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Guatemala volcano eruption subsides after hasty evacuations

© AFP/File | The Volcano of Fire is seen from Alotenango municipality, Sacatepequez department, about 30 km southwest of Guatemala City, as it erupts on May 5, 2017

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) - 

Activity at a volcano near Guatemala's capital went back to normal on Saturday, officials said, a day after 300 people were evacuated as it spat hot ash high into the air.

The so-called Volcano of Fire lies 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Guatemala City. Authorities closely monitor its activity.

On Friday, 300 people in the nearby village of Panimache were evacuated as a precaution as the volcano erupted. The community is located near the foot of the 3,763-meter (12,345-foot) volcano.

Ten schools in the southern Escuintla district had suspended classes due to the falling ash.

But on Saturday, the volcano was "in conditions within normal parameters," David de Leon of the National Disaster Reduction Coordinator body told reporters.

He said dozens of people had returned to their homes, and no property damage had been reported.

A September 2012 eruption of the Volcano of Fire saw a bigger evacuation ordered, of 10,000 people.

In February 2015 another eruption forced the closure of the capital's main airport.

Apart from the Volcano of Fire there are two other active volcanos in Guatemala. One of them, Pacaya, is just 20 kilometers from Guatemala City.

© 2017 AFP